February 2016 English Bridge
South's 4™ makes comfortably, losing a trick in each
suit outside hearts. And 4´ goes just one down,
losing a heart, two diamonds and one club - a very
good sacrifice. You should have passed with Hand A
and bid 4´ with Hand B.
You may say, 'one deal proves nothing'. However
the point is that the key differences between East's
hands A and B will have the same effect across every
single comparison. In A, East has a heart holding
that will (almost certainly) be a defensive trick - yet
worth next-to-nothing to partner in 4´. In B, East's
�Q-J will be worth a lot to partner in 4´, yet likely
worth next-to-nothing in defence to 4™.
Where are your points?
In the competitive auction, it is not how many
points you hold that is important, but where they
are. In general, bid on when your points are in your
side's trump suit and pass (or double if you think
the opponents are stealing - obviously not the issue
here) when your points are in the opponents' suit.
Of all the point-scoring cards, it is the queen that is
the most volatile. In your trump suit - or a long side
suit - the queen is very valuable offensively and - in
an otherwise marginal scenario - you should bid
on. In the opponents' trump suit, or a short suit,
you should not bid on.
Do you recall sacrificing over the opposing
contract, thinking they'll be able to make, only to
realise that your holding of Q-x in a side suit
coupled with partner's J-x-x - worth nothing to
you - amounts to the defensive trick that defeats
The same logic applies to the jack - only less so.
Which brings us to this month's tip.
Andrew's Great Tips
With 'quacks' (queens and jacks) in your side's
trumps or long suit, bid on. With quacks in the
opposing trump suit or a short suit, don't. r
Bridge Ha Ha
Why not send in funny stories, April Fools or pictures to the
editor for consideration in the next issue?